Plastic a climate bomb

02/08/22

The Plastic Free July is over. However, our fight against plastic is far from being over. Today we are offering you a little recap of everything you need to know about plastic and how to get rid of it in your daily life. 


Plastic is found (absolutely) everywhere

Plastic causes a lot of problems. From the extraction of the raw materials that make it up, to its end of life, where it too often gets into the ocean. Once in the environment, plastic will pollute and have consequences on the ecosystems, but also on our health.

It is estimated that on average a human being ingests 5g of plastic per week, the equivalent of a credit card.

When we think of plastic, we often think of everyday objects: toothbrushes, water bottles... However, plastic takes many other forms that we do not necessarily suspect.

- Pellets: these microplastics are small granules that are used to manufacture all plastic objects. It is the hidden part of the iceberg. Because of their small size (less than 5mm), pellets are easily found in the marine environment due to incidents during transport or negligence.

- Cigarette butts: in addition to a lot of other toxic components, cigarettes also contain plastic. It is hidden in the filter. Once the cigarette is burned, what remains is the filter and all the other substances (mercury, lead...) that pass through and lodge comfortably. Conclusion, when a cigarette butt is thrown on the ground, which happens very often, it will release all its substances, and in contact with the marine environment it will pollute up to 500 L of water.



The myth of ecological plastic

Now that we know all the problems that the massive use of plastic can cause, maybe it's time to look at alternatives?

Between biodegradable plastic and biobased plastic, you'd think at least one of them would be a good idea. Well, neither of them are.

Biodegradable plastic sounds ideal. In fact, it will only degrade under industrial conditions, certainly not at home.

To qualify as a biobased plastic, only a small part has to be of organic origin. For everything else, it is similar in every way to conventional plastic, and contains the same additives.

By turning to these false good ideas, it is clear that we are far from achieving a viable solution. It is therefore necessary to remain vigilant in front of these seductive names which make believe that using plastic is fantastic.


Real alternatives to plastic exist

It is possible to limit plastic in your daily life. And why not start with your kitchen. As an indication, each year, 400 million tons of plastic are produced in the world, 1/3 of this production is dedicated to the production of single-use packaging for consumer goods. The only vocation of this plastic is to be thrown away once used. A short life but full of consequences.

It is possible to limit the impact of this single-use packaging. For that, the solutions are simple and accessible: bulk, deposit and reuse.

To consume in bulk implies to bring your own containers to fill them directly on the spot, that limits packaging.

Thanks to the deposit you will have a container that you can bring back for a symbolic amount that will be returned to you.

Finally, reuse promotes packaging that can be reused and is not intended to be thrown away.

It is urgent to get out of the systematic and massive use of plastic. To this end, we continue to lobby companies and policy makers for significant changes.

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